Joseph Henry Thayer was born in Boston, Massachussets. After pastoring in the Congregatinal church for five years (1859-1864), Thayer went into teaching and was affiliated with Harvard his remaining eighteen years (1883-1902). Thayer's main interest was New Testament Greek. In 1886 he published his definitive Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, a work which established Thayer's reputation as a Biblical scholar. The work was the English language standard in New Testament lexicons until 1957, when Bauer's lexicon was translated from German. Thayer served on the revision committees of both the English Revised Version and the American Standard Version of the New Testament. He was also responsible, perhaps more than any other individual, for the founding of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem.
William Franklin "Billy" Graham was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. Educated at Bob Jones University, Florida Bible Seminar, and Wheaton College, he was ordained into the Baptist ministry in 1940. In 1943, he became the first evangelist of the newly formed Youth for Christ organization, and it was his 1949 crusade in Los Angeles which catapulted him to fame.